Ticats sign first-round pick Nick Cross, three other rookies

Photo courtesy: David Moll/Calgary Dinos

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed four more members of the club’s 2021 Canadian Football League Draft Class on Friday, including linebackers Nick Cross, Jarek Richards and Myles Manalo, as well as fullback Felix Garand-Gauthier.

Five of the team’s seven draft picks from 2021 have now been signed to contracts, including the first overall selection, tight end Jake Burt, who was inked to a deal on draft night.

Selected with the last pick in the first round, Cross last played in 2019 with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The six-foot, 182-pound linebacker played eight games at UBC in 2019, recording 74 total tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, one interception returned for 17 yards, and two pass breakups.

Prior to his time with UBC, the Regina, Saskatchewan native played for the University of Regina Rams in 2017, where in eight games he recorded 46 total tackles, three tackles for loss, three passes deflected, one forced fumble, one sack, one interception, and one kick return for 10 yards.

Richards pent three seasons with the Saint Mary’s Huskies before being taken in the fourth round by the Ticats. The five-foot-11, 185-pound linebacker played 23 career games at Saint Mary’s, registering 106.5 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three forced fumbles, two fumble returns, and two pass breakups.

Fifth-round pick Felix Garand-Gauthier spent two seasons  with the Université Laval Rouge et Or. The six-foot-one, 225-pound fullback played 14 career games at Laval, recording 12 receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 11 rush attempts for 23 yards and three touchdowns.

The Mirabel, Quebec native was part of the Vanier Cup-winning Laval club in 2018 and was named a U SPORTS second team All-Canadian in 2019.

The final pick in the draft, Manalo played two seasons with the Western University Mustangs. The six-foot-two, 230-pound linebacker played 21 career games at Western, registering 70 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one fumble return, one interception, and two pass breakups. The Burlington, Ontario native won a Vanier Cup with Western in 2017.